Thursday, June 16, 2011

Old School Thursday: All-American Edition

Today is National Fudge Day and also the Feast of St. Benno, who is the patron saint of anglers. Fudge and fish. Delicious.

Today’s other news all relates to venerable American brands born in the 19th century. First, today in 1893, R.W. Rueckheim invented “Cracker Jack,” which was introduced at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago. It was R.W.’s brother Louis, though, who fine-tuned the formula into the candy we know today, by figuring out a way to keep the molasses-covered popcorn from sticking together. That happened in 1896…and the toy in the box didn’t arrive until 1912.

Ten years later, in 1903, Pepsi-Cola registered its trade name. At that point, the company was a year old – it’s first year of life it was called “Brad’s Drink” after Caleb Bradham, the pharmacist who developed the formula at his drugstore in New Bern, NC.

And finally, today is August Busch III’s birthday (1937). Busch III was the president of Anheuser Busch until 2002 and and chairman of the board until 2006, when his son (August Anheuser Busch IV, obviously) took the reigns (literally and figuratively – love those Clydesdales). I have a very soft spot in my heart for the Busch family, since through Busch Gardens and Anheuser Busch itself, they’re big supporters of William & Mary. Go Tribe & Go Busch Family!

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